Way back in 2014 at the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen debuted the cute but curious VW T-Roc crossover concept. This summer, a production version of the T-Roc will roll into European showrooms, and the automaker has confirmed that it'll come to the U.S. in 2019.
When it, does, VW will have at least four crossovers to offer American shoppers, who've largely shunned the brand in recent years. At first, VW's struggles were largely due to its car-heavy lineup, though in recent months, the damage caused by the ongoing Dieselgate fiasco has put further drag on sales figures.
Alongside the T-Roc, consumers will find the familiar Tiguan and Touareg, plus the new Atlas, which is slated to arrive in the 2018 model year. As a compact crossover, the T-Roc is smaller than the Tiguan, and its price is expected to be smaller, too, making in the cheapest of VW's utility vehicles
That could change, of course, if the Trump administration's border tax becomes a reality. If it does, and if Volkswagen opts to build the T-Roc in Mexico or Portugal rather than Chattanooga, it could cost considerably more. That, in turn, might cause America's VW dealers--who had to vote in favor of the T-Roc's U.S. debut--to reconsider their decision.
Other unknowns about the T-Roc include whether it will come with an all-wheel drive option, as the European version will. And then there's the question of the name.
VW has taken plenty of heat for its rigid naming system, which is set and Germany and rarely takes into account regional or cultural differences between markets. The company has long insisted, for example, that its crossovers' names start with "T", which has given us the oddly labeled Touareg and Tiguan.
Thankfully, recent shakeups have forced the company to loosen its rules a bit, which is why the Atlas name is so refreshing. The "T-Roc" will almost certainly get a name makeover, too.
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Note: for purposes of clarity, "Volkswagen" has been used to refer to the Volkswagen Group parent company, while "VW" has been used to refer to the company's popular mass-market brand of automobiles.